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Australia – annual inflation rate falls to 3 per cent with the quarterly rate stable and the press go crazy

Apparently, inflation in Australia has come ‘roaring’ back, if you believe one financial commentator today. There has been a lot of talk about how inflation is spiralling upwards and it demonstrates the MMT ‘quackery’. If you examine today’s data release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics – Consumer Price Index, Australia (October 27, 2021) – which relates to to the September-quarter 2021, then it becomes clear that the slightly elevated CPI result is largely due to uncompetitive cartel behaviour and deliberate government petrol pricing policies that ensure that the cartel behaviour is ratified in the form of higher local petrol prices. Not much more to see than that really. Nothing much to do with Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) at all. Sorry about that. The CPI rose by 0.8 per cent in the September-quarter 2021 and 3 per cent over the 12 months. The two main drivers were the rise in prices for New dwelling purchases by owner-occupiers (3.3 per cent) and Automotive fuel (7.7 per cent). Last quarter, the annual rate of CPI increase was 3.8 per cent, which makes statements like ‘roaring back’ seem ridiculous and designed to attract headlines.

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